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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Selçuk pictures >> Selçuk Museum - Ephesus finds >> More Artemis tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

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More Artemis

In an article in the Wikipedia attention is paid to the special position of the Ephesian Artemis. I quote: “From the Greek point of view Ephesian Artemis is a distinctive form of their goddess Artemis. In Greek cult and myth, Artemis is the twin of Apollo, a virgin huntress who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. At Ephesus, a goddess whom the Greeks associated with Artemis was venerated in an archaic, certainly pre-Hellenic cult image that was carved of wood and kept decorated with jewelry. Robert Fleischer identified as decorations of the primitive xoanon the changeable features that since Minucius Felix and Jerome's Christian attacks on pagan popular religion had been read as many breasts or "eggs" — denoting her fertility (others interpret the objects to represent the testicles of sacrificed bulls that would have been strung on the image, with similar meaning). Most similar to Near-Eastern and Egyptian deities, and least similar to Greek ones, her body and legs are enclosed within a tapering pillar-like term, from which her feet protrude. On the coins minted at Ephesus, the apparently many-breasted goddess wears a mural crown (like a city's walls), an attribute of Cybele (see polos).
On the coins she rests either arm on a staff formed of entwined serpents or of a stack of ouroboroi, the eternal serpent with its tail in its mouth. Something the Lady of Ephesus had in common with Cybele was that each was served by temple slave-women, or hierodules (hiero "holy", doule "female slave"), under the direction of a priestess who inherited her role, attended by a college of eunuch priests called "Megabyzoi" and also by young virgins (korai).
The "eggs" or "breasts" of the Lady of Ephesus, it now appears, must be the iconographic descendants of the amber gourd-shaped drops, elliptical in cross-section and drilled for hanging, that were rediscovered in the excavations of 1987-88; they remained in situ where the ancient wooden cult figure of the Lady of Ephesus had been caught by an 8th-century flood. This form of breast-jewelry, then, had already been developed by the Geometric Period. A hypothesis offered by Gerard Seiterle, that the objects in Classical representations represented bulls' scrotal sacs cannot be maintained.”
The museum has several representations, amongst them lots of votives that are shown as a group, as I do here.
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2960.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2960.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2961.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2961.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 3156.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 3156.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 3157.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 3157.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2962.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2962.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2963.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2963.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2964.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2964.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2965.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2965.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2966.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2966.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2967.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2967.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2968.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2968.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2969.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2969.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2970.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2970.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2980.jpg
Selcuk Museum October 2015 2980.jpg
Selcuk Museum March 2011 3892.jpg
Selcuk Museum March 2011 3892.jpg